Right. As far as we remember, last year we stayed up late wrapping up the last few presents, all the way till (as we refer back to last year's post) past 3.30am before going for something to eat.
And we vowed, this year we shall make sure to begin shopping before December. And we did, then we stopped, because we sort of ran out of ideas for what to buy. Our attention was then distracted from presents to decorating as we were put in charge of getting the office tree and decor, much to our delight, as we've not really had a proper (albeit fake) Christmas tree for Christmas ever since mum decided against putting up the 4-foot tree as it was a hassle to put up and take down, or because it was coming to pieces.
Come to think of it we can't even remember how the tree decor looked like except for the lights, which were colourful and spiky. And we think there was a colourful tinsel that went around the tree. But asides from that we cannot remember what ornaments there were.
Anyways. We went about checking out the fake trees available in BSC and other places, and just as we've decided on a couple, we were told to go get a real tree instead.
To be honest we weren't keen on a real tree, despite the novelty of having a real tree for Christmas instead of a fake. Firstly because there were only two places we knew of offhand that sold real trees: iKea and BSC. iKea's trees costs RM99 for their 5ft to 6ft tree (member's price) while in BSC their 4ft to 5ft tree sold for RM799 (of course, the price dropped by half that as we progressed later in December).
This meant that we would most likely be getting the iKea tree, and based on what we saw in iKea, all we can say is that they never did bother to decorate it much nor upkeep it enough to make it appealing. And with all the trees wrapped up in netting, there was no way we could know if the tree we picked would be a great tree or one where all the leaves have dropped off and the top of the tree left bare.
And the amount of leaves shed! We wouldn't mind the shedding in the office as we would leave the cleaning duties to others, but Aidan really needed a wash and vacuum...
After we'd bought the tree, we went crazy shopping at BSC for ornaments and the likes (we never did see if Tangs at Pavilion had ornaments and decorations for sale, like Tangs in Sporeland's Orchard Road) as it was cheaper and better looking compared to iKea's ornaments.
Getting the tree into the stand wasn't so easy as we needed to make sure it was centered and steady so that the tree wouldn't topple while we were halfway decorating it.
And the first thing that went on? The lights. By far the easiest job. And to be honest, even with just the lights alone, the tree looked good. We suppose that was why iKea and BSC only decorated their real trees with lights. However, it wasn't enough for us.
Ornaments gave us a bit of a problem as we needed to put them on with a delicate hand to reduce the amount of leaves shedding! And some ornaments actually came with no string! Thank goodness we had ribbons with us, and we'd to spend some time cutting and tying loops of ribbons onto the ornaments before we could hang them up.
Still in the end we manage to get the baubles up all around just right, followed by the longer ornaments to help cover the gaps, then there was the problem of the stringed beads that would have made the tree looked horrifyingly gaudy if we just looped it around the tree like a giant rosary (solved by cutting it up and hanging it about like little candy cane ornaments)....
The wire ribbons we bought? Perhaps we didn't get enough. Our initial attempts looked as if we toilet-papered the tree. Only after much deliberation and readjusting and putting on the last of the decorations did the ribbons look passable. We still don't really get how others manage very pretty ribbonwork on their trees, unless the main reason why ribbons work so well with their trees is that it works well for fake trees.
End result? We like. We really like. Choice of red and silver for this year's theme was due to our Christmas gifts being wrapped in red this year with white ribbons. Ball lights were a last addition that required a readjustment of some baubles (we didn't have the energy to remove all the decorations and redo the entire thing), but it was a major improvement.
Throw in the presents we've wrapped in red and white for the family, we've got a nice set-up to put our neighbouring offices to shame. Of course, at one point our boss did ask our colleague if the presents were just empty boxes for decorative purposes...
Perhaps for next year we can spend a wee bit for a different colour. Maybe blue and silver.
Anyways, here's wishing all a very blessed Christmas! Enjoy the holidays!